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News » Announcers make some fumbles

Announcers make some fumbles

Announcers make some fumbles
This is what I'm thinking:

*With so many announcers on ESPN's pregame shows, there is bound to be some misinformation spread.

Keyshawn Johnson, one member of ESPN's pregame team, said Monday night that the Bills did Miami a favor by playing their Dec. 7 game indoors in Toronto. Note to Keyshawn: The NFL did the Dolphins a favor. The Bills have said that the league decided which game was going to be played in Toronto and the team had no say.

And then there was this nugget from ESPN's Cris Carter after he picked the Bills to beat Cleveland on Monday. "It is common knowledge that Buffalo is really good on Monday night," said Carter. That was a really bad point. The Bills' Monday record is 17-22, counting the Browns loss.

*Critics in Los Angeles laughed in July when NBC's John Madden predicted that Warren Sapp would win this season's "Dancing With the Stars." But Sapp, who is an analyst for the NFL Network and Showtime, has made next week's finals. All that dancing may have hurt Sapp's own prognostication skills. He picked the Bills to go to the Super Bowl when they were 5-1. He smartly has backed away from that prediction.

*After hearing The NFL Network's new play-by-play guy, Bob Papa, for parts of three games, it is pretty clear that he's a big improvement on Bryant Gumbel. He has a strong excitement level, creates interesting conversation with analyst Cris Collinsworth and and has a decent voice. But he isn't in the class of several A-list, NFL play-by-play guys. Of course, most people here can't hear Papa because Time Warner doesn't carry the NFL Network.

The exciting victory by the New York Jets over the New England Patriots -- which was carried by satellite systems and FiOS -- had a 4.1 rating here Nov. 13. It might have been three times that if it had been on cable.

The NFL wants to be on a regular cable tier like ESPN so its subscription revenue would be higher. Time Warner would prefer to put it on a pay tier like the NHL Network and NBA TV so only those viewers who get it would pay for it.

There haven't been many games as exciting as the Jets-Pats game so most cable subscribers probably can live without The NFL Network. I mean, did anyone cry over missing Pittsburgh beat Cincinnati on Thursday?

*Inquiring minds wonder why Mike Schopp missed the Monday postgame show on WGR after the Bills lost to Cleveland. Program director Andy Roth said he was getting a comp day. Roth added Schopp also will miss an hour of four straight Tuesday shows for personal reasons. Roth added: "There is absolutely nothing wrong with Mike Schopp." Since Schopp and the Bulldog frequently discuss personal matters, it wouldn't be surprising if Schopp eventually talked about his very good reasons for taking an hour off on Tuesdays.

*Nick Mendola's recent imitation on WGR of Buffalo Bills back Marshawn Lynch was clever and hilarious. Mendola used lyrics describing the Bills running game woes to the tune of "Runaway." Still, I can see how hearing a white guy imitating the voice of a black player might have offended some listeners. Roth said he didn't get any complaints. "Does anybody write 'Saturday Night Live' when Darrell Hammond does his impression of Jesse Jackson?" asked Roth. Point taken.

*You might have thought that the University at Buffalo's recent four-overtime victory over Akron would have a big local audience on ESPNU. But it averaged only a .7 rating, about one-seventh the rating of UB's Election night win over Miami (Ohio) that was carried on ESPN 2. Fewer subscribers get ESPNU and many who do don't know what channel it is on. The Akron game also played opposite the Pats-Jets game on The NFL Network.

*Reminder: The stand that UB players took in declining a 1958 Tangerine Bowl bid is the subject of ESPN's "Outside the Lines" at 9 a.m. Sunday. It also will be carried on ESPNews at noon.

*Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots call the Bills-Kansas City game Sunday. After the Bills' last four losses, don't expect to see CBS' top teams.

*The Bills' loss to the Browns averaged a 37.9 rating in Western New York. Nationally, it averaged a 8.8 rating, which was within range of MNF's season average of 9.1.

e-mail: apergament@buffnews.com

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: November 23, 2008

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